A new scholarship established by the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation valued at up to $120,000 is hoping to develop postgraduate students into the leaders of the future.

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship will be open to both research and coursework postgraduate students at ANU and eight other Australian universities. The scholarship will be awarded annually, and scholars “chosen for their potential to make a difference to Australia’s future in one of three focus areas: technology and innovation, strengthening Australia-Asia ties, and enabling positive social change” Westpac states.

The scholarship is also one of several being targeted directly at postgraduate students in an attempt to make postgraduate studies more accessible.

Very few scholarships currently exist for students pursuing postgraduate coursework compared to those available for undergraduates. There is also indication that postgraduate studies are increasingly only being pursued by those in metropolitan areas and from medium to high socio-economic backgrounds, the journal of Higher Education Policy and Management citing that low socio-economic students make up only 10.5% of the postgraduate student population.

However the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship seeks to go beyond just financial support, also including a nine month leadership development program, aimed at building Scholars’ leadership capabilities beyond the classroom and creating career pathways to help them succeed in their fields. The scholarship also offers the choice of also including a tailored international experience of up to six months.

“With its leadership development program, it’s an incredible opportunity for good leaders to gain experience and training to further their abilities. This experience is something that would have been invaluable when I was doing my PhD” stated Scholarship Ambassador Dr Angie Kings-Lynne.

But the scholarship will undoubtedly be competitive, Westpac making it clear that they are seeking Australia’s best and brightest.

To find out more and to apply head to http://bicentennial.westpacgroup.com.au/scholarships/future-leaders/.